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The Business

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  2,110 ratings  ·  107 reviews
Imelda Dooley is scared. Really scared. She's played hard and fast and now she's been caught. She's pregnant and now she's on her own. Her father, not a man to mess with, will see that somebody pays for this. And it's not going to be her. So Imelda Dooley tells a lie. A lie that literally causes murders.

When Mary Dooley's husband is killed in the night's events, she knows
Paperback, 568 pages
Published 2009 by Headline (first published January 1st 2008)
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Average rating 3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,110 ratings  ·  107 reviews

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The Cats’ Mother
I've enjoyed her previous books, but this one got irritatingly repetitive, and the constant swearing is wearing.
She spends so long describing her characters personalities and motivation, over and over again, that if you took that out, there'd only be a 100 pages of actual story. The central character is so unrelentingly awful that I really lost interest and only finished it to find out if the ending was as predictable as I'd thought. It was.
Oct 17, 2012 rated it did not like it
What has happened to Martina Cole? I used to LOVE her books and would await eagerly for the next one to be published but I have been left so disappointed with her last few attempts at writing.
This story follows Jordanna and Imelda as they battle their way through life. Everything in this book, Martina has written before and I mean EVERYTHING. You can predict exactly what will happen right from the beginning. The repetition is so bad that the book could easily have been reduced by half. I cannot
Jul 07, 2013 rated it did not like it
I liked the book but it was overly repetative - I only needed to be told once how dumb Imeldas brothers were, once how selfish she was, once how fragile Jordana was and please only once how big Kenny Boy was. did not need to be told every page of every chapter!!!!
Mar 24, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction
A tale of a London criminal dynasty forever overshadowed by a malevolent female junkie relative in their midst - was my original one sentence review. 6 out of 12 Sounds like one worth rereading, if I recall correctly.
May 16, 2021 rated it liked it
I struggled to get into this book at first and it took me quite a while to read as I wasn’t desperate to find out what was going on. I enjoyed getting to know some of the characters but I felt like some of them just dropped of the radar during the book and you don’t hear about again. I got slightly more in to it at the end and although I didn’t love this book I look forward to reading another Martina Cole soon.
Jane Shambler
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gangster

Cole manages to put you right there. It's part of society we prefer to ignore. But Cole doesn't allow you to walk away.
It's a very powerful book. She also handles it well. While telling the truth yet trying to be sensitive to the children.
Awesome read.
Ginny Mcpherson
Aug 06, 2012 rated it did not like it
Felt it repeated itself over and over again. Storyline was ok but it took 2pages to explain something that could be done well in a paragraph. I have just read reviews from others and have noticed I am not the only person to think this. This was my first Martina Cole book and was not bothered about reading another but maybe I shall now if I believe other reviews, saying this is not like her normally?
Aug 13, 2010 rated it it was ok
I read this straight after 'The Graft' and frankly didn't like it so much. It could easily be 100 pages shorter. I think Martina Cole's strong points are dialogue and action. She doesn't disappoint in either, but there is page after page of character analysis and psychology which I found boring and repetitive. I still enjoyed the book but found myself skipping chunks of it. ...more
gemmas_bookshelf (Gemma Kay)
I found this book very repetitive, especially in the first 3 quarters of it!!!!! I got the feeling that I was constantly re-reading pages! I usually love Martina Cole novels, but was very disappointed with this one unfortunately. There wasn't really that much going on with the story (just more of the same throughout) and I think the book could definitely have been shortened by about 150 pages at least! ...more
Hmm...this book is difficult for me to rate. The Business was my first introduction to Martina Cole and one of those impulse buys while doing a weekly shop.

The story took me a while to get into and I found the setting - the heart of London's gangster culture - disturbing and at times, difficult & unpleasant to read. However, Martina Cole's writing makes it a page turner and it gripped me enough to stay with it until the end.

My heart went out to the little two year old Jordanna, and I was horrifi
Jun 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
As always, Martina Cole writes with an incredible knowledge of the sad, but extremely lucrative, world of organised crime in London, with it’s violent involvement in protection rackets, drugs, prostitution and various other anti-social behavioural aspects.
The author lost many friends in the 70’s and 80’s caught up in heroin addiction, and writes with a passionate approach to the innocent parties (particularly children) who suffer dreadfully as a consequence.
Part of the vernacular is rather coar
Sep 09, 2014 rated it did not like it
Terrible. Extremely ugly writing in ugly language about ugly people. Author has a single most favourite word (starting with F) which she puts in the random places. I am sure pimps and drug dealers use F-word and others more creatively.

Every thought seems to be repeated three times. "She was tired. Really tired. F-ng tired". And then three more after a few pages.

Unfortunately I dropped my pocketbook in the sea, so I was stuck with this book picked up in the hotel lobby. Be warned. F-ng bad.
Jul 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite authors, i just loved this book. Being from Essex myself i just love the way her characters speak. Really recommend this book and all other by Martina Cole.
Sep 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
its a good read. its intense. martina cole is amazing.
Jan 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
100% Martina Cole fans will love this one
Tom Thornton
Jan 24, 2021 rated it it was ok
I cannot figure Martina Cole out as an author. I don't know who her target audience is and I can't figure out what it is she's trying to say to them.
Technically, this book is well-written with a readable flow. The technical ability is why I reluctantly add a second star to my review. Okay, this is an author who can turn an inch in to a mile and you can occasionally skip two pages without missing anything important, but the standard of writing is good (albeit repetitive).
It's the content I strugg
Jul 23, 2017 rated it did not like it
I think after this book I'm now done with Martina Cole. The first MC book I read was The Ladykiller and I was gripped from start to finish, predictable in places but overall I enjoyed the read. It lead me on to her other books, which to start with were quite good, but now they are all the same, once you've read two or three they start to become the same book. Change the names of the characters and set it in a slightly different part of London and it makes for the same monotonous reading, book af ...more
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
How do you make a book full of murder and crime so utterly tedious to read?
The characters are flat, and the descriptions are a repetitive slog of stereotypes. Several character descriptions arent worth reading as the character is dropped two pages later. The story skips forward in time as and when it likes, dwells on people slagging the protagonist off and then rushes through major character deaths in one wishy-washy paragraph.
This book was a chore to read, but on the bright side the characters
Jan 10, 2018 rated it did not like it
I was bored to death with this book. I've tried so hard to keep on track, tried so hard to connect with the characters but it just wouldn't come. Everything about the way this was written was overly repetitive. I never once remembered getting intrigued, excited, or any positive emotion wash over me while reading this book and thus I was halfway through it, I decided that I've had enough. I usually don't ever stop midway while I've started a book because I've made it an importance to finish what ...more
jeannette allerston
Another gem Martina Cole

What a rollercoaster of a ride, what a broken family ,i,ve read this book twice and the second time I found myself reading parts that I some how missed the first time around, when I read books on this subject (family), I find myself feeling so lucky to have come from such a big loving family , sadly my father passed away very young, having older brothers and sisters this story has made me appreciate my family thank you Martina 😉 and Annie Aldington brilliantly narrated as
Mary Pimbblet
Nov 28, 2019 rated it did not like it
I've read a few Martina Cole books now, and wasn't expecting a fabulously written masterpiece, but this is shocking. I don't think an editor has been near this, it feels like it's been dictated and not even proof read. Everything is incredibly repetitive, the author can't seem to work out if half the characters are stupid or really intelligent. I also got extremely sick at being told to be sympathetic to junkies every second page, because even if they do completely evil things it isn't their fau ...more
Nov 03, 2020 rated it liked it
This was my first Martina Cole book, and although repetitive (as some other readers experienced), I have to say that I found it to be quite entertaining. Was it entertaining enough to encourage me to read any more of Martina's not really. Then again, my reading seems to be heavily influenced by my mood and podcast choices, and if the synopsis and sample is good....I will most likely read it. ...more
Maria Ryder
Jul 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
I forced myself to finish this book. I don't know why the rave reviews, I found it repetitive, dull and predictable. I bought this book and another Martina Cole book from a charity shop on the recommendation of a friend, I am taking them both back to re-donate them without even looking at the second one.
Elizabeth Bennet
May 29, 2018 rated it liked it
I like this one but with some distance. The story and the characters are very interesting and the writing has its own distinctive style but it could have been half as long and just as good.

There are a lot of ways to say things and this writer uses all of them at the same time in the same paragraph. So it was a challenge not to skip any and I didn't.
Pam Boardman
Oct 28, 2018 rated it did not like it
I have read some of her books some time ago and enjoyed them, so I decided to read another one of her books. I was so surprised that this book was awful. It is very long with many long pages repeating over and over. The whole book is about murders, and they seem to get away with killing people. All of the characters were people you would not like to meet.
Lucy Wildman-Ayre
Feb 04, 2019 rated it liked it
The repetition / of language in this book was very frustrating and quite disappointing. The over description of situations and the characters got very tiresome. I did, however enjoy the story about how one individuals complete selfishness and lack of empathy and compassion can have an incredibly horrific knock on affect for generations.
Jan 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
Did enjoy the story but with this book being hard back it was slow to read as not easy to read it in bed, at first I was unsure what the story was going to be as it started out very fast paced but then it followed all the family members and you get to know each one separately and the way their lives are impacted by their childhood
Susan J. Barrett
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved it. Raw and immersive, utterly spellbinding, hard hitting, gritty, frustrating (Imelda is loathsome with absolutely no redeeming factors), and brilliant. Not for the faint hearted. Martina Cole is now firmly on my list of favourite authors.
I liked the book which spanned over a number of years in three smaller books. However I also found as others have the writer seemed to say over and over again the same things and got very repetitive. In the end I was glad to finish it.
Amira Smith
Apr 11, 2021 rated it liked it
I've read a couple now and have a couple more of MC's to read. I think I prefer more of a dialogue in a book more than narrative.

I'm starting to feel a lot of repetition it seems.

It was an ok book.

Very drug, prostitute and mobster heavy, what MC does best.
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Martina Cole was born and brought up in Essex. She is the bestselling author of fourteen novels set in London's gangland, and her most recent three paperbacks have gone straight to No. 1 in the Sunday Times on first publication. Total sales of Martina's novels stand at over eight million copies.


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